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Rights of the Accused Research Paper


The phrase due process implies that laws should be practiced justly and equally to each person, particularly a citizen who becomes accused of a crime. The whole due process originated from founders of the United States, following their colonial experience (Kime, 2011).

The founders realized that it was both impossible for democracies to work and individuals be secured unless those accused of crimes obtained the due process of law, through establishing the rights of the accused. They wanted to establish ways of guarding persons against aggressive actions of the state.

Therefore, many rights of the accused became established in the in the Bill of Rights as 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th amendments, in order to make it hard for the state to deny people their freedom. Other rights can be found on Article 1, although, the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th amendments provide for the most rights.

These rights of the accused suppose that each person is innocent unless proven guilty (Patrick, 2001). Besides, in 1960, the Supreme Court added to the rights of the accused through establishing that the government should offer an attorney for the accused, whereby the individual can not afford such services. Since then, the rights of the accused have incessantly received enhancements, in courtrooms.

Explain how Due Process Protects the Accused against Abuses by the Federal Government

The due process protects the accused against abuses by the federal government through several processing steps. First, the 4th amendment deprives of the federal government the right to make broad searches and seizures of possessions.

The amendment restricts the police to search the arrested person and places that the arrested can have direct control. This amendment, also, prohibits imprisonment devoid of any logical grounds.

Second, the 5th amendment deprives of the federal government the right to force words to the accused, as they have a right to remain silent (Coldrey, 1991). According to the Supreme Court, unconscious or involuntary confessions can not be applied in federal courts although some state courts fail to abide by this provision.

Also, the 5th amendment stipulates that an individual should not be accused of a severe crime devoid of investigations by the grand jury. Besides, the amendment prohibits double jeopardy, which means taking a person to trial for a second time due to an earlier crime.

The exclusionary rule can be allied to the 4th and 5th amendments, as it supports the notion that evidence that gets collected illegally cannot be applied during a trial. One key notion of this rule is that evidence by the police is acceptable as long as the police can prove they obtained such evidence legally.

Third, the 6th amendment orders the federal government to provide assistance of counsel for the defense of accused persons who can not afford such services (Patrick, 2001). Also, the amendment creates room for the accused to be informed of charges.

Lastly, the 8th amendment forbids bizarre and brutal punishments, as in the English law. However, the most contentious matter that falls under the 8th Amendment is capital punishment, or the act of giving death sentences to persons who turn out to be guilty of serious crimes.

The Supreme Court stipulates that individual states have the authority to practice their own policies on capital punishment. However, the court cautions these states to observe farness and consistency when conducting death penalty.

References

Coldrey, J. (1991). The right to silence: Should it be curtailed or abolished? Anglo-American Law Review, 20, 51-52.

Kime, S. (2011). How the conflation of compulsory process and due process guarantees diminishes criminal defendants’ rights. American Criminal Law Review, 48, 112-160.

Patrick, J. (2001). The supreme court of the United States: A student companion. Oxford New York: Oxford University Press.

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IvyPanda. 2019. "Rights of the Accused." April 4, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/rights-of-the-accused-2/.

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IvyPanda. (2019) 'Rights of the Accused'. 4 April.

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